NEW YORK -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez enjoyed his first Major League managerial experience while surrounded by friends and family members in his native Miami. But he could have done without some of the second-guessing he experienced, like when his aunt called to ask why he was using Jorge Julio so frequently.
Gonzalez's parents will be among the friends and family who will be present Tuesday night when he returns to Sun Life Stadium for the first time since the Marlins fired him as their manager last June.
Gonzalez is looking forward to seeing many of the front-office staff, security guards and ushers that he got to know so well during his four seasons as the Marlins' manager. He still has a strong friendship with Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, and was glad that he and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria had a cordial conversation when they just happened to bump into each other during this past December's Winter Meetings.
"He said 'Hi' to me and I said 'Hi' to him," Gonzalez said. "He congratulated me on my new job. Everything was great."
Gonzalez admitted that he had previously wondered if he could react in a civil manner while running into Loria for the first time since being fired.
Two days after being eliminated from the postseason, the Braves surprised very few when they named him Bobby Cox's successor.
Along with Gonzalez, Braves second baseman Dan Uggla will also be experiencing a homecoming this week. The veteran second baseman spent his previous five seasons with the Marlins, who traded him to Atlanta in November.
Gonzalez and Uggla faced the Marlins during two Spring Training games, and again during a three-game series at Turner Field in April.